Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

URL: www.scjfaq.org/faq/21-01-09.html
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< Q21.1.8 TOC Q21.1.10 >

Question 21.1.9:
Entering the Covenant: Can we hold a welcoming ceremony on the 8th day for a girl?

Answer:

Traditionally, when a baby girl is born, the father notifies the synagogue officials of her arrival and of his plans to have her named at a service. Though the baby is not brought to the service, the child is named in the synagogue during the reading of the Torah on the Shabbat, Monday, or Thursday immediately following her birth. Sometimes the date is postponed so that the mother may be present. Typically, the father is also honored with an aliyah.

The Conservative movement has no rule on whether or not the 8th day is a necessary day to hold the ceremony on for girls. The Conservative movement does encourage parents to hold a Simchat Bat for baby girls, and to view it as having the same importance as a Brit Milah for boys (see Moreh Derekh: The Rabbinical Assembly Rabbi's Manual"). More info is available from: "Jewish baby law" (http://www.uscj.org/scripts/uscj/paper/Article.asp?ArticleID=271)

However, just because there is nothing "official" doesn't mean you can't use an established welcoming ceremony or create your own at any time. Baby girls are just as welcome in Jewish tradition as boys are, and there are marvellous ways, in every denomination, of showing them they are equally loved.

Note: The Reform movement has a number of ceremonies written and available through the Reform rabbinate; UAHC publishes Bat Brit certificates.


The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

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